The Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAF) is a ten-year, CA$35 million partnership (AUD$37 million) between IDRC and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The partnership leverages the strengths and resources of each organization to improve food and nutrition security, resilience, and gender equality across eastern and southern Africa.
CultiAF funds applied research to develop and scale up sustainable, climate resilient, and gender responsive innovations for smallholder agricultural producers.
Research teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are leading CultiAF-funded projects across four broad research themes:
- increasing productivity and reducing post-harvest losses;
- linking agriculture, nutrition, and human health;
- gender equality; and
- climate change and agricultural water management.
Four scaling projects which rolled over from CultiAF phase I have completed their research work and five are ongoing.
Achievements of the program include development of 19 new innovations, establishment of policies that enable scaling of innovations, improved livelihoods and enhanced resilience for smallholder farmers,and the empowerment of women and youth through training and mentoring.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have had to adapt to enable their research work to continue. The program has supported the teams in identifying new ways of working as well as integrating responses to COVID-19 in research work. This includes use of digital platforms, product diversification, facilitating access to inputs and improved financial management to address food supply chain disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 measures.
Overall, the CultiAF partnership emphasizes the commitment of ACIAR and IDRC to fund research that aims to improve gender equality and social inclusion, particularly in the areas of technology and value chain development, entrepreneurship, and building capacity within the agricultural and food systems sectors.
The findings emerging from CultiAF-funded work will be disseminated for greater impact and to inform innovative business models that boost the strategic leadership, influence, and involvement of women and youth throughout eastern and southern Africa.
This short video illustrates tangible results in agricultural innovations for preventing post-harvest losses for small holder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Homa Bay sits on the shores of the mighty Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, in western Kenya. Farmers like Siprosa Atieno benefit from the fertile land surrounding the bay.